Ivo Graham at Latitude 2014

Note: This review is from 2014

Gig review by Steve Bennett

There are few minority groups it’s socially acceptable to hate these days, but Ivo Graham fits into one of them: Old Etonian.

Such is the stigma attached to this privilege that he has previously tended not to mention it on stage, referring only elliptically to a boys’ boarding school. That evokes the idea of him as a geeky, socially excluded loser, whereas Eton pegs him as an evil one-percenter hell-bent on screwing us all.

So it’s testament to his skill as a comic that he still emerges from his routine in Latitude’s cabaret tent as the underdog and a misfit. Even thought this festival is firmly middle-class, most attendees would probably consider themselves left-leaning, so sympathy isn’t a given. But when we learn how late he lost his virginity, his low status is reconfirmed.

He’s so unthreatening that he can even crack a dreaded rape joke in banter with the audience – and at 5.30pm too – and it works at his expense, the side of him being sexually aggressive is so laughable.

Towards the end of the set, though, this perennial awkward singleton reveals himself to be in a relationship now, which could prove his comedy kryptonite. Although the descriptions of his gaucheness still entertain, the swagger which he boasts of his status, even ironically, isn’t quite as funny as when he’s the loser.

Review date: 19 Jul 2014
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Latitude

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